“I grew up in a Christian family and I was raised, taught and trained to live in Christian ways. One of the greatest things I learned growing up in a Christian family is that helping and serving others is one of the most important things you MUST do, and that is what God wants you to do while you are alive. That, I believe, is a significant action that a person can reveal himself to be a follower of Christ. I experienced that there are many factors of helping and one of them is giving. It doesn’t matter how much or what you give, but if you give your best to those in need, you would have no idea how much that person feels supported and grateful. When I went to university, I was supported by the Compassion Christian Foundation. They may appear to support me for only going to university, but they have no idea how much their support strengthened my desire to help people in need. Since then, my desire to help and serve those in need grew. That is when I decided to work with a foundation that helps people in need after I graduate from university.
I am Karen from Thailand and I live without fear in this country. In contrast, I often hear that there are many internally displaced Karen people on the border of Thailand from a neighboring country and many more of them are in the jungle living in fear. With the desire to help that exists within me, I wanted to help my people in the best way I could. After graduating with English for International Communication from Rajabhat University in Chiang Mai, God directed me to Earth Mission Asia Foundation, which trains Karen youth and helps people in remote Karen areas to have access to high-quality healthcare.
However, getting to do what God wants you to do and what fulfills your goal or passion does not always guarantee that it will be simple and easy. There were many challenges in my work functions that I could not handle at first such as finance fundamentals beyond my knowledge, different accents of language, and learning work systems to perform my roles and responsibilities. In addition, there were times that sudden or unexpected decisions had to be made which worried me because I wasn’t confident in decision making. There were risks to consider and plan for. Critical thinking was sometimes required to deal with various types of problems. Honestly speaking, I was discouraged with where I was at, and there were several times I told God, “God, I can’t do it anymore”. But He was with me all along as always and gave me a heart that never wanted to quit but go forward.
After all those days of learning to adjust to my roles the best I could, I grew. Now, two years later at EMA, I manage to make the right decisions in different situations from what I learned. I know how to be a better bridge to communicate and build the team as a bookkeeper of the Rain Tree Clinic while working in Chiang Mai. I can be strong, gentle, straightforward or supportive to the team doing my best in my role.
Looking back, I would not have overcome or progressed this far without the support and encouragement of the EMA leaders and staff. They patiently taught me skills that I needed to learn as well as by their actions, performance and dedication to EMA. They always encouraged me when I thought I couldn’t do something. One of the most powerful things EMA leaders do for their staff is that they believe in their staff more than their staff believes in themselves. They never fail to encourage and remind their staff that they can do something. That is actually what a person needs the most to continue doing their best. I believe that encouragement and believing in each other is EMA’s main motivation key that drives EMA to grow stronger and go further as a bigger team full of team spirit every day.
“We were sent to the earth to serve, and when you serve, don’t act as if you’re serving humans, but as if you’re serving God. Serve well, and your rewards will be waiting for you in Heaven when you return.”—Lek, Chiang Mai Bookkeeper for Rain Tree Clinic